Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

In the Humboldt Lab, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin presents a vibrant workshop of ideas on the first floor of the Humboldt Forum where cutting-edge research enters into a dialogue with the general public. On an area of around 1,000 sqm, the Humboldt-Universität offers insights into the variety and relevance of the sciences.

Humboldt Lab

The Humboldt Lab is a venue where the latest research projects and findings are presented, a place for networking, for discussion, for sharing, for interdisciplinarity and internationality, and for debates on urgent issues of our time. This is done partly from a historical perspective by means of numerous objects from the fascinating world of the University’s collections and the history of science. As a HUB der Wissenschaft or Hub of Science (HUB is the abbreviation of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), the Humboldt Lab is in equal measures an interface, a marketplace and a pivot between science and society. It presents research by the excellence clusters of the Berlin University Alliance and other renowned Humboldt-Universität institutes and departments.


The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is Berlin’s oldest university with over 35,000 students, some 450 professors and 2,000 academic employees. It is one of the foremost universities in the German-speaking world and one of 11 universities in Germany to have achieved University of Excellence status.

The university was founded according to ideas of Wilhelm von Humboldt.

Wilhelm von Humboldt’s Reform University

The university was founded in 1810 on the basis of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s ideas and is still considered to be “the mother of all modern universities.” Humboldt created a university in which the unity of research and teaching and an all-round humanistic education of students were achieved. Alexander von Humboldt gave some of his famous Cosmos lectures at today’s Humboldt-Universität, and it was here that scientists such as Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel, Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolf Virchow, Max Planck, Lise Meitner and Albert Einstein taught and conducted research. The interdisciplinary, world-encompassing approach of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt continues to serve as an inspiration and a model for the university.


Cutting-Edge Research and University of Excellence

The Humboldt-Universität, along with the Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, is a member of the Berlin University Alliance. The BUA receives funding as an excellence network in the excellence strategy competition underwritten by Germany’s federal and state governments. Seven BUA excellence clusters receive grants as part of the excellence strategy.

The Main Building of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Dialogue with Society

Assured and multiply tested knowledge and clear and undisputable facts do not necessarily lead to important decisions being made in politics and society, as the climate change debate clearly demonstrates.

Society needs science – science needs society. Only in close exchange between the two will we succeed in asking the right questions and overcoming the multiple crises of our time. For this we need open places like the Humboldt Laboratory at the Humboldt Forum.

That is why the Humboldt-Universität intensively promotes exchange between university and society as well as between science and art den in order to progress from knowledge to understanding and to action. In order to visibly achieve this objective in the next few years the HU as a university in the heart of Berlin is going ahead with specific projects. They include the Humboldt Laboratory in the Humboldt Forum and other projects such as the Palais am Festungsgraben, where artists and scientists in exile will in future enter into a dialogue with the urban public, or the Science Campus – a joint project with the Museum für Naturkunde. The HU thereby hopes to set new standards and to establish new platforms for communication between science and society.




The Humboldt Lab is a project of the Humboldt University of Berlin in the Humboldt Forum. Funded under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder by the Berlin University Alliance. The Joachim Herz Foundation is a Humboldt Lab partner.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)
Berlin University Alliance (BAU)
Joachim Herz Stiftung

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